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Cardinal Health's VP Shares Seven Lessons From Auto Industry

Rob Doone, VP of Integrated Logistics at Cardinal Health, believes that today's healthcare supply chain faces many of the same challenges that American automakers faced three decades ago.

In a new blog post on Essential Insights, Cardinal Health’s online thought leadership site, Rob Doone – vice president of Integrated Logistics Services at Cardinal Health – shared seven steps the healthcare industry can take to apply supply chain lessons from the American automotive industry.

According to Doone, today’s healthcare industry faces many of the same challenges the auto industry faced during the 1970s, when Japanese car makers operated a better supply chain. Too much waste, too many individuals making decisions, a failure to modernize and a lack of consistency were some of the complications Doone noted.

Through reduced waste and improved efficiency, here are Doone’s seven lessons the healthcare industry can take from the American automotive industry, courtesy of Cardinal Health.

1. Streamlining. Cut the number of touch points in the supply chain down to size.

2. Being transparent. So we can better track products as they travel from plant to the patient. This requires a significant investment in technology to see a product's entire path through the supply chain.

3. Focusing on compliance. To meet growing regulatory requirements. For example, at Cardinal Health in the last five years alone, we've seen a 300% increase in regulatory inspections of medical products. That's why deep expertise in health care logistics is key to staying ahead of such complex and critical change.

4. Being flexible. To accommodate the growing shift in care from the hospital to more cost-effective locations--including patient homes.

5. Leveraging intuition. Use technology to establish clear demand signals optimizing inventory levels.

6. Collaborating. Create more effective shared warehousing and transportation strategies.

7. Being Nimble. Manage the constant change in product complexity, regulatory compliance, transportation and warehousing.

To read more about Doone’s thoughts on the future of healthcare, read his full blog post on Essential Insights.